Arunachal Budget focuses on health, education, governance and agriculture

Arunachal Pradesh deputy chief minister, Chowna Mein, who also holds the finance portfolio, presented the state budget with a total outlay of Rs 19,261 crores on Monday.

The budget, on a whole put its thrust on eight key areas – education, skill development, health, governance reforms, IT, infrastructure, social security and agriculture and allied sectors.

The budget focuses on the agrarian economy and empowerment of farmers. The deputy commissioners have been given a huge responsibility for decentralized assistance to farmers. A number of schemes have been launched to revitalize the agriculture and allied sectors, with a focus on agricultural entrepreneurship, farm credit, agricultural extension, marketing and providing quality planting material.

In order to augment the resources available for financing new interventions in health and education sector, a 10% cess on liquor has been imposed from April 1.

The education department also saw a huge increase in its outlay and a series of measures have been announced which are focussed more on improvement of quality of teaching than infrastructure creation. Regular talent hunts, focussed mentoring my teachers, smart classroom programs are some of the key features of this sector. Innovative proposals of administering midday meal scheme in Itanagar and Pasighat have been included. Text books would be procured directly from NCERT to avoid any delay in supplies, the minister informed. There was also a promise to regularise SSA/RMSA teachers on a merit cum seniority basis after amending the relevant rules.

In the healthcare sector, a new scheme for providing support to patients suffering from renal disease where government has assured support of upto Rs 10 lakh per patient was announced. A district health society has been mooted under which funds would be placed for decentralized procurement of medicines, emergency repairs, and replacement of dysfunctional equipment. The Tom Riba Hospital building would be expanded and the medical college would start functioning next year, Mein informed.

Free chemotherapy scheme for cancer patients would also continue this year in an expanded form. In order to encourage mothers to undergo the full immunization cycle for children, an incentive of Rs 1000 per case has been mooted to be transferred on DBT route, the minister said.

Mein also committed a series of governance reforms, greater use of technology for service delivery and a more transparent and decentralized administration.

The government employees have been given an employee welfare fund. The contingency employees are getting an additional Rs 1000 per month across the board and the government has committed to fund their health and accident insurance schemes under the PM flagship program.

The finance minister also made several announcements for women empowerment including establishment of women helpline, women police stations, amendment of IPC for rape of minors, strengthening AP women commission, establishment of a destitute home at Chimpu.

“A need has been long felt to preserve and protect the indigenous dialects and languages of the state. This year’s budget provides for imparting of tribal language teaching at upper primary schools and documentation of remaining languages’ scripts,” Mein said.

The state budget also gave thrust to skill development among the youth to help increase employment and economic growth. “The Chief Minister’s Yuva Kaushal Yojana will provide high-end training to 1000 students across the globe in one year, apart from 10000 youth under PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana and 20,000 people on digital literacy,” Mein added.

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